Friday was our last formal day of studies at Habla Ya…We’ve decided to stay in Boquete for about 3 more months…the place kind of grows on you…so, we’ve rented a house one block off Avenida Principal from a guy named Gene who lives in Denver. We’re moving in on Wednesday (hopefully). Til then, we’re at a nearby Hostal…very cool & clean…lots of world travelers here…our new house is sparsely furnished so we’re scrapping around for stuff to make it more cozy…it’ll work, I’m sure…Sad & glad to leave our host family behind yesterday…we loved them very much…the sweetest people in the world…Anaides (age 79) and in incredible health, a student of Egyptology, a builder and a coffee farmer; his wife, Leonila, (age 74) who is the solid rock, former elementary school teacher in Boquete whom all the taxi drivers remember..and their daughter Idis (age 44) who lives at home with her mother and father and wwho seems content to do little more that make beaded aligators and spend time with Leonila.
We’ve decided to try to hire a private tutor to continue our language studies. Georjean’s former teacher, Jamilys who now lives down the way about 40 km in a town called Bugaba, might come to teach us 4 days a week…we’ll see…She”s a college educated woman of about 30, but the pay at Habla Ya was pretty low (we think about $5,000 a year) so perhaps she’ll tutor the three of us until she can find a permanent and better paying job…she stays a lot with her mother who is blind but primarily lives alone.
Final Note: Did anyone catch the nuances of the UN Meeting on Climate Change held in Panama City this past week? Regarding the Kyoto Protocol things don’t look all that well for ouyr tiny planet if even the major nations of the world aren’t going to lay ball with each other and get serious about this phenomenon. On an aside: the rains are coming fast and furious now…within the last two weeks two major bridges crossing the InterAmerican Highway were washed away (can you believe it that no one was injured or killed in either incident). Carlos, our friend from Spain, who works in the coffee industry says the yields are down significantly for high-altitude cultivated beans. That translates to lost jobs (how many) and lost income (how much). Still working to find out who know what about this and whether any level of government is aware and doing something to help people adapt to these changing conditions. It is definitely not as easy as I believed! I haven’t turned up a single NGO here that is working on the issue and helping people turn to new livilhoods…On the other hand, the problem here in Panama may well be that things in the economy are so strong having recently experienced an *.5% growth rate annually now slowing to (only) 6%…We gringos would be very happy, I expect, with that kind of growth in the states eh?